Daily news - 29th April 2021

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Have a good Bank Holiday weekend. See you again on Tuesday.


UK news

Pleasant Lands

Industrial hemp cultivation is permitted under licence in the UK and farmers
are able to process the seeds and stalks for a defined commercial use, such
as producing hemp seed oil, textiles and building materials. Yet despite
unprecedented global expansion hemp remains classified as a niche crop
in the UK - with cultivation estimated at only 800 hectares annually, a tiny
fraction compared to the US or Australia | Volteface, UK

Ban on cultivating medicinal CBD oil from cannabis 'unfair' and 'insane', farmers say

The plant remains a restricted crop under the Misuse of Drugs Act and growing it requires a government-issued licence | Sky News, UK

Heroin to Holyrood? Man behind 'illegal' drug van runs for Scottish parliament – video

Peter Krykant, who operates a van in Glasgow where people can safely take illegal drugs, is running for Holyrood as part of a campaign calling for the Scottish government to establish legal sites | Guardian, UK

LONG READ: Dundee police trial carrying Naloxone in hope of battling city’s drug death epidemic

A pilot scheme has been launched in three council areas across Scotland, with Dundee officers given the option to carry the nasal spray, which reverses the effects of an overdose from opiate drugs such as heroin | Dundee Evening Telegraph, UK

Alcohol marketing versus public health: David and Goliath?

Alcohol harms are rising globally, and alcohol policies, where they exist, are weak or underdeveloped. Limited progress has been made since the formulation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Strategy in 2010. WHO is seeking to accelerate progress in implementing international efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol | BMC Public Health, UK

SSA Conference 2020: Professor Carl Hart on ‘The role of addictionologists in perpetuating societal inequities’

The session covers the impact of drug policies on racial discrimination, group marginalisation and drug related deaths. Professor Hart also talks about how the work of addiction researchers can exaggerate the detrimental impact of drug use and, in doing so, can support such policies | SSA, UK

Durham Constabulary reveal 'largest ever drugs seizure'

A drug dealer who was stopped with cocaine worth more than £1.7 million has been jailed | ITV, UK

Police discover '£2m-a-year' cannabis factory in Cheshunt

A cannabis factory with the potential to produce £2m worth of the drug a year has been dismantled by police | BBC, UK

Rathcoole: NI women arrested over European drugs parcels

The drugs were allegedly being sent to three addresses in Northern Ireland when they were intercepted by Border Force officers who worked with the NCA and PSNI's paramilitary crime task force | BBC, UK


International news

Bolsonaro’s Cabinet Crusade Against Cannabis is Racist and Classist

In a context when several countries and jurisdictions are reviewing and transforming their drug policies, the Brazilian crusade against cannabis is a strong ideological component in the promotion of the long failed war on drugs as the only possibility for eradicating crime and violence | Talking Drugs, UK

Webinar 1: Tobacco Use - Pleasure or Harm?

5 May 2021. Time: 6am Pacific Time / 2pm UK Time / 6:30pm India Time
Join the first session for presentations on tobacco and nicotine addiction, treatment of dependence as a behavioural and public health imperative, smoking patterns and attitudes of patients in treatment in Abu Dhabi, and the management of smoke-free detoxification units | ISSUP, UK

Can magic mushrooms really help you understand bitcoin?

That’s what one German billionaire says. But it’s not why the Aztecs and the hippies were such fans | Guardian, UK

College students’ perspectives on an alcohol prevention programme and student drinking – A focus group study

While there is considerable research on the efficacy of interventions designed to reduce alcohol consumption and related harms among college students, there is limited research on students’ own perspectives on such interventions. This qualitative study aimed to address this gap by examining college students’ perspectives in the context of an alcohol prevention programme for college students in Ireland | Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Finland et al

Impact of COVID-19 on Racial-Ethnic Minorities Among Persons with Opioid Use Disorder

Findings highlight differences in the experiences of racial-ethnic minorities with opioid use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic | UConn Today, USA

FDA Announces Menthol Cigarette Ban

On April 29, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a national ban on menthol cigarettes. The agency also called to “ban all characterizing flavors,” including menthol, in cigars | Filter Magazine, USA

Congress passes extension of opioid enforcement tool

The Senate on Thursday approved legislation extending until October an order that allows the federal government to classify so-called fentanyl analogues as Schedule I controlled substances. The drugs are generally foreign-made with a very close chemical makeup to the dangerous opioid | Medical Xpress, USA


ADB-HEXINACA is classified as a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids have been reported to cause psychoactive effects similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Synthetic cannabinoids have caused adverse events, including deaths, as described in the literature | NPS Discovery, USA

He Fought for Decades to Make Marijuana Legal. Now What?

Dana Beal, a longtime Yippie, staged protests and fought the law and spent time in jail to make weed available for all. Is there a future in pot activism? | NYTimes, USA

The Price of Saving a Life: Naloxone’s Cost Barrier in the US

When I walk into my local pharmacy to pick up a naloxone kit, I don’t need to present a prescription. I don’t even need to state my reason for needing naloxone (I’m an opioid-dependent pain patient and I frequently interview people who use illicit opioids) | Filter Magazine, USA

Stigma Podcast

Gord Garner, Executive Director of Community Addictions Peer Support Association joins the Evidence Podcast to talk about stigma and its effects on those battling substance use disorder | CCSA, Canada

The Bulletin - issue 3

Inside this month’s issue, you’ll find stories about the progress that’s been made to reduce the prevalence of hep C, the complex realities of performance- and image-enhancing drugs, a Q&A with the inaugural Medical Director of the Sydney safe injecting room Dr Ingrid van Beek, and a celebration of the life of legendary consumer rights activist Jude Byrne | Penington Institute, Australia

The power of lived experience – a quick guide for alcohol and drug services

To encourage people to successfully engage in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, services need to be safe, welcoming and non-judgmental | adf, Australia

‘We can have a really positive impact on society’

GPs discuss how the RACGP’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Education Program has helped boost their skills, and why it is so important | News GP, Australia

Industry leaders round on online ordering service CDA Express

Industry leaders fear a controversial new service allowing Australian patients to order low-dose CBD online could encourage those with serious medical conditions to ditch their GP in a bid to access medicinal cannabis in under 10 minutes | Cannabiz, Australia

Are psychedelics heading for a bad trip?

Naturally occurring psychedelics have had a place in therapeutic, spiritual and religious practices for some First Nations communities for centuries, but when psychotropic substances were outlawed globally in 1971, promising research into their use in psychotherapy was squashed | Medical Republic, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

NHS inpatient Units (IPUs) offer incomparable training for medical professions

Addiction affects thousands of people in the UK and the NHS inpatient Units (IPUs), which provide residential detox treatment for severe drug and alcohol addiction, are often the last hope for recovery for some of our most vulnerable members of society | NHS APA blog, UK

We need to divert more young people from the criminal justice system

Diversionary schemes create better outcomes for young people and keep communities safer. Their time has come | We Are With You, UK

Alcohol labelling reform is way past its sell by date

In this blog Holly Gabriel, RNutr, Nutrition Manager at Action on Sugar shares the shocking findings from their sugar survey of alcoholic drinks and explains why calorie information must be included on packaging | Alcohol Focus Scotland, UK

Four reasons why your tolerance for alcohol can change

As pubs and bars reopen across England, many are excited about the opportunity to enjoy a drink with friends and family. While some evidence suggests alcohol consumption increased during lockdown, other reports suggest that over one in three adults drank less – or stopped altogether | Conversation, UK

Tribute to Baroness O’Cathain, former officer of the APPG on Smoking and
Health by Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Vice-Chair of the APPG (PDF)

The death of Baroness (Detta) O'Cathain at the age of 83 removes from public life and Parliament one of the tobacco industry’s most effective and articulate opponents | ASH, UK

What the United States can learn from Canada’s cannabis clarity

The inherent contradictions of American cannabis laws seem to appear in the news almost every week | Conversation, USA

Opinion: America’s Forgotten History of Supervised Opioid Injection

Facilities that would allow people to openly use opioids are igniting controversy today, but were once widespread | UnDark, USA

Overdose crisis: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare decades of drug policy failures

A syndemic occurs when multiple public health emergencies interact to make each other worse. This past year clearly fits the label: the global COVID-19 pandemic has indisputably intensified the existing drug overdose crisis in Canada | Conversation, Canada